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Archive for December, 2011

What lies in the Mist?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Floyd! Turn Around! Floyd!!!!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

They are best buddies, really!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Silly Sleeping Deirdre

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Silly Sleeping Floyd

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Silly Sleeping Sequoia

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bless You!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What can I say, typical Floyd

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I don't think I'm in Staples anymore!

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Do you remember walkie-talkies? This was light years before cell phones. This was back to a time when phones were not only attached to the wall, but most had rotary dials. Walkie-Talkies were a little larger than a small transistor radio, You would press the button on the side and talk into it communicating with your friend who had the other one. When you finished your message you would say ‘over’ so your friend would know it was his turn to talk. More often than not there would be no reply because all you ever heard was static. Sometimes there would be little pauses and patterns in the static. I like to think that the static was actually noise from space, quite possibly the sounds that existed when our world was created Or perhaps noise from aliens!  You never know, it could be.  In the end we always resorted to yelling into them which worked because we were usually standing not more than 10 feet away from each other.

Many, years later just before cell phones became common place another little walkie-talkie type device hit the market. These were a form of short wave radio’s that actually did work. Like a walkie-talkie they came in pairs and were set to a particular and unique frequency. With an average set you could easily be on one side of a modern day shopping mall and talk to your partner who could be anywhere in the mall or even in the parking lot. While this was easily a billion dollar industry, it was short lived because cell phones hit in a big way about two years later.

So why, you are asking yourselves, am I even talking about this? Well because I am about to pick on my parents again.

About eight Octobers ago my parents came for one of their regular visits. My mother told us she wanted to buy us these ‘walkie-talkies’ We told her thanks but we really didn’t see a use for them. “Neither did we.” She said, “Now we don’t know how we manage without them!” We compromised, we would wait and see how invaluable they were between my parents and then we could better decide if we thought they would be useful for us.

The first test was upon the walkie-talkies as we were heading to the mall. For my parents going to the mall is a leisure activity. They walk in the front door synchronize their watches and make a plan. The conversation between my mother and father goes like this:

Mother: Okay, it is 1:30 where do you want to meet?
Father: I don’t know.
Mother: How about we meet back here?
Father: Okay what time?
Mother: It is 1:30 now, how much time do you need?
Father: Doesn’t matter to me, I’m good whenever, we just need to meet back here so we can make a plan for supper.
Mother: Okay it is 1:30 say we meet at…when?
Father: Well, hmm, what time did you say it was 1:30?
Mother: One thirty, oh wait did my watch stop? No its one thirty.
Father: Well, what did you want to do for supper?
Mother: I don’t know we can discuss that later, when did you want to meet back here?
Father: Whenever you want, I just have to hit a few stores and then I’m good.
Mother: Okay its 1:45 now, how about we meet at 3:30
Father: 3:30? That doesn’t leave much time does it?
Mother: Well we can meet at 3:30 and if we need more time we can always pick a new time.
Father: but then we have to come back here and then go through this again.
Mother: Okay how about 4?
Father: Hmm.
Mother: You said it doesn’t matter to you!
Father: Okay 4 pm. Did you want to meet at the food court?
Mother: No, here.
Father: Okay back here at 4pm. What time is it now?
Mother: 2:10.

And off they go, and they may pass each other in the corridors but they are pretty much on their own, until dinner of course.

My beautiful wife and I hit the mall with a slightly different plan. We view the mall as an evil place filled with zombies. The mission is simple, in and out as fast as we can. We don’t separate we have each other’s back. If the mission is more than 20 minutes it is considered a failure.

Being the accommodating cheerful people my wife and I are, we agreed to the plan. We watched as my Mother and Father went their separate ways and faded into the throng of Zombies. My wife and I headed for the nearest bench. After a time we spotted my father.

Me: Have you seen mom?
Dad: No.
Me: Why not call her on the walkie-talkie?
Dad: I left it in the car.

So far, test failed. A few moments later my father is back with walkie-talkie in hand. He calls my mother. No answer, he waits a moment and calls again.

Me: Problem?
Dad: It’s probably at the bottom of her purse and she can’t hear it.

Second Test: FAIL!

Later my wife and I spot my mother.

Me: have you seen Dad?
Mom: No.
Me: Why not call him on the walkie-talkie.
Mom – rummaging around in her purse finally finds it and turns it on.
Me: It wasn’t even on?
Mom: No I can’t hear it in my purse so I save on the battery by turning it off!

FAIL!

Mom – calls my father, no answer and tries again…and again.
Me: Problem?
Mom: he is not answering, maybe his battery is out.
Me: No he tried calling you awhile ago but you had yours off, so it is not his battery.
Mom: Well he is not answering.

FAIL!

Finally the time arrives and we all meet up:

Me to Dad: So, after you tried calling mom, we found mom and tried calling you on the walkie-talkie that you guys can’t seem to live without, but you didn’t answer.
Dad: I turned it off.
Me: Why?
Dad: To save the battery because your mother can’t hear it if it is in her purse. So why should I have it on?
Me: I’m not sure why you even carry them.
Dad: Why? They are wonderful.
Me: Well thank you very much for wanting to buy us a set but really I think we will pass.

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My parental units have just celebrated their 53 wedding anniversary.  Yup the big 53!  I called to wish them a happy anniversary.  Calling my parents is a really good way to get fodder for this blog.  What follows is a story told to me by my father.  Before I get an earful, I do take responsibility for poetic license, although I can assure you this rendering is not far from the truth.

Both my Mother and Father were coming home from a shopping trip.  They were waiting for the elevator in the lobby of their condo and something happened of which I can’t remember because as my father was telling the story my dog was bringing me toy after toy to get my attention.  Anyway somehow in the lobby, in front of the elevator, my parents got separated. (I know what you are thinking, but no this is not be considered unusual in my family)  My father rode up alone.  Went into the apartment waited around a bit and went back to the elevator to help my mother with the bags.  The elevator doors open my mother was not to be found.  He waited a little longer, doors opened again and she was still not there.  My father went back to the apartment to close the door then headed down to the lobby of course she wasn’t there either.  “Perhaps” he must have thought to himself, “They crossed paths” so up to the 7th floor he went, no sign of my mother.  He went to the apartment, still no sign.  He went back to the lobby, nothing, nada, zip.  At this point, other people in a similar situation would start to worry.  But not my father, remember they have been together 53 years, he knows better.  My father remembers the time my mother got lost in Jackson Hole Wyoming.  She went to the corner to get some food.  At the time you could walk around the entire town in 30 minutes, there were a handful of hotels.  My mother stopped a police officer to ask where the Crazy Horse Hotel is.  The Officer informed her there was no hotel, they argued about it, the officer born and raised in Jackson Hole was pretty sure he knew that there wasn’t.  He was right because we were staying at the PONY EXPRESS HOTEL!  But in my mother’s defense, in our family there is virtually no difference between a crazy horse and a pony express.  The officer should have known better.

Back to the story at hand, thanks to the advent of modern technology my father remembers he has a cell phone, and by mere coincidence so does my mother.  Is it on? Does it have battery life left?  Does she have it on her?  This leads into another story for another time suffice it to say that the chances are that any of the above questions is going to have a negative answer.   In this instance all is good and my mother answers:

Father: Where are you?

Mother: At the elevator waiting for you to help me with the bags. Where are you?

Father: At the elevator waiting to help you with the bags.

My father at this point is back on their floor figuring my mother is now waiting in the lobby.  So he goes back down, of course she was not there. He calls her again:

Father:  Now where are you?

Mother: Waiting for you at the elevator, where are you?

Sounding familiar?

Father:  I’m in the lobby in front of the elevator and I can’t find you.

Mother: No, I am on our floor.

Father: I just came from there and couldn’t find you.

Mother: I’m standing on our floor in front of the elevators.

Father: Okay I’ll be up in a minute.

And once again my father goes up stairs and there is no sign of my mother and once again calls her.

Father:  I am at the elevator and you are not here.

Mother: Yes I am.

Father: Where?

Mother: In front of the elevator.

Father: What floor?

Mother:  (pause, laughter). Sixth

Father: (Laughter) we live on the Seventh.

Mother: Probably a good thing I didn’t try to get into the apartment at the end of the hall.

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